The view from the Crewhouse balcony overlooked tiers of burnt orange rooftops, striking in contrast to the turquoise sky. Sun-washed adobe houses flanked the narrow stone roads and alleyways. I breathed in the salty air, feeling the daylight glint off my sunglasses.
It was 16 years ago when I took myself on a solo trip to Paris. The month was July and the occasion was my birthday. This trip was to have been with my then-boyfriend but he had a pattern of dropping out of planned vacations at the last minute.